Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on 22 December 2002
This book was written in German and first published in 1937, but if you're expecting a turgid and dated account, think again! The writing is crisp and pacy, and soon sucks you in to the author's absolute passion for his subject.
This book describes the theory of "Blitzkrieg" as we now know it (although this word is a journalist's invention), and explains how the theory was developed. The tank engagements of the Great War are analysed in detail, and the contribution of other branches of the army, and to a lesser extent the air force, examined.
Guderian argues convincingly for the mechanization of infantry and artillery - in contrast to the narrow parochial arguments of the majority of his contemporaries, and considers supply, transport, paratroops (also untested in 1937), smoke and chemical weapons etc.
The most fascinating thing about this book is that although it reads like an incisive historical account, it was actually written BEFORE the start of the Second World War, when the arguments contained in the book were more or less pure theory.
There are perhaps a few places where Guderian exaggerates his case, but in the context of a still contraversial theory which had yet to be generally accepted, his sales pitch is remarkably restrained.
The maps tend to be sketch quality, however there are some nice black and white plates (about 40 photographs) mostly depicting early armour. These must have been added later as one of the photographs shows the 1940 paratroop drop on Rotterdam.
A thoroughly remarkable book that predicted the future with remarkable accuracy.